Introduction to Functional Assessment SPED 583 February 3, 2005
FBA • Functional • The WHY, the motive, the intent, the purpose • Behavioral • A pinpointed, explicit set of actions and/or words • Assessment • Measure, test, investigate, consider, sum up
FBA • Process for identifying: • Purpose or function of behavior • Variables that influence the behavior • Components of effective behavioral intervention plan
FBA • System for • Gathering data about antecedents and consequences of specific behaviors • Developing an hypothesis about the function of the behavior • Developing, implementing and evaluating a BIP
Outcomes of FBA • Clear description of problem behavior(s) • Environments that predict when behavior will and will not occur • Identification of maintaining consequences • Summary statements or hypotheses • Data to support hypotheses
Clear description of problem behavior • Select a problematic behavior • Describe the behavior in observable terms • Be very specific • Include times/situations when the behavior will likely occur • Include sequences of behaviors that may occur together • (O’Neal, et al, 1997)
Gather information • Student interviews • Informant interviews • Direct observation
Student Interviews • Conducted by person without negative history • 20-40 minutes • Student identifies • Major problematic times/situations • Environmental factors • Possible functions of behavior • Development of summary statements • Suggestions for support plan
The student: • Lists all problematic behaviors • Identifies contexts • Develops summary statements • Develops a diagram which includes problem behaviors and desired appropriate behaviors. • Identifies changes that would support appropriate behavior changes
Informant interviews • Teachers • Parents • Bus drivers • Others??
What are the problem behaviors • What events may occur earlier in time that predict the problem behaviors • What are the consequences that appear to maintain the behavior • What appropriate behaviors could produce the same consequences • What strategies have been tried and how effective/ineffective have they been • (O’Neal, et al, 1997)
Direct observation • Environmental observation • See handout
References • O’Neil, R., Horner, R., Albin, R., Sprague, J., Storey, K., Newton, J., (1997). Functional assessment and program development for problem behavior: a practical handbook. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.